About Llama Trekking
Llamas are wonderful animals that have a placid and helpful nature, and relate well to humans. They all enjoy their walks and have no trouble carrying the equipment and supplies for a great day out.
Llama ancestors existed on the plains of North America approximately 40 million years ago. One theory holds that during the ice age, these llama ancestors were forced to move in to South America. Some of them migrated north across the Baring Sea landbridge to Asia, evolving into the camel of today. Those that migrated south evolved into two distinct species – the wild vicuna and the guanaco.
The domestic llama and the alpaca
Llamas are members of the camelid family. The domestic llama and the alpaca are the only two species of camelids to be domesticated and were developed through thousands of years of controlled breeding by the Incas. The Incas used llamas as beasts of burden as well as for meat, hide and sinew; the woolly alpaca was bred for its fine fibre. Llamas and alpacas are reputed to be the oldest domestic animals in the world. Most of them today make the Alti Plano in Peru their home, living at altitudes of 14 – 16,000 feet. The fine fleeces from these animals provided warmth to the Andean Indians and protection from the harsh Andean environment.